Adolescent attachment style in residential care: the attachment style interview and vulnerable attachment style questionnaire

Article


Bifulco, A., Jacobs, C., Ilan-Clarke, Y., Spence, R. and Oskis, A. 2017. Adolescent attachment style in residential care: the attachment style interview and vulnerable attachment style questionnaire. The British Journal of Social Work. 47 (7), pp. 1870-1883. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw117
TypeArticle
TitleAdolescent attachment style in residential care: the attachment style interview and vulnerable attachment style questionnaire
AuthorsBifulco, A., Jacobs, C., Ilan-Clarke, Y., Spence, R. and Oskis, A.
Abstract

Attachment frameworks are increasingly used to understand human development and used by social workers in care planning for children and young people in care. To date, there have been few assessment tools that social workers can use easily and therefore little sustained use of attachment assessment by practitioners in residential care. This paper describes the use of the Attachment Style Interview (ASI) for adolescents and the Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire (VASQ) self-report in a pilot study of young people in residential care in the UK and Isle of Man. The aim was to test these relatively new measures in practice contexts administered by practitioners, and to determine rates of insecure and disorganised attachment style to compare with other studies. Results show around half of the young people had disorganised (or mixed) attachment styles using either measure, with avoidant attachment styles more common than anxious ones. Secure style was rare. There was some difference in young person and carer ratings, with young people rating slightly less disorganised style and more anxious style, but simplified classifications were similar. The implications for assessing attachment style in residential care to improve identification of interpersonal risk and aid with care planning are discussed.

KeywordsAttachment; residential care; adolescents; Attachment Style Interview
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
ISSN0045-3102
Electronic1468-263X
Publication dates
Online12 Oct 2016
Print31 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Mar 2017
Accepted01 Aug 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The version of record Antonia Bifulco, Catherine Jacobs, Yael Ilan-Clarke, Ruth Spence, Andrea Oskis, Adolescent Attachment Style in Residential Care: The Attachment Style Interview and Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire, The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 47, Issue 7, October 2017, Pages 1870–1883, is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw117

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw117
Web of Science identifierWOS:000416167500004
LanguageEnglish
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Oskis, A., Clow, A., Hucklebridge, F., Bifulco, A., Jacobs, C. and Loveday, C. 2013. Understanding alexithymia in female adolescents: the role of attachment style. Personality and Individual Differences. 54 (1), pp. 97-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.08.023
Psychiatrie infantojuvénile en Europe: 68 Grande-Bretagne
Bifulco, A. and Thomas, G. 2012. Psychiatrie infantojuvénile en Europe: 68 Grande-Bretagne. in: Ferrari, P. and Bonnot, O. (ed.) Traité européen de psychiatrie et de psychopathologie de l'enfant et de l'adolescent Paris Lavoisier. pp. 691-697
Understanding adult attachment in family relationships: assessment and intervention
Bifulco, A. and Thomas, G. 2012. Understanding adult attachment in family relationships: assessment and intervention. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.
Caring about attachment in young people in residential care: the use of the attachment style interview. Report of a voluntary sector and university partnership
Jacobs, C., Ilan-Clarke, Y. and Bifulco, A. 2012. Caring about attachment in young people in residential care: the use of the attachment style interview. Report of a voluntary sector and university partnership. Community Care Inform.
Vulnerability, life events and depression amongst Moslem Malaysian women: comparing those married and those divorced or separated
Abdul Kadir, N. and Bifulco, A. 2011. Vulnerability, life events and depression amongst Moslem Malaysian women: comparing those married and those divorced or separated. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 46 (9), pp. 853-862. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-010-0249-4
Attachment style and psychological adjustment in couples
Conde, A., Figueirido, B. and Bifulco, A. 2011. Attachment style and psychological adjustment in couples. Attachment & Human Development. 13 (3), pp. 271-291. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2011.562417
Condividere e condividere allo stesso modo.Il maltrattamento è un’esperienza condivisa dai fratelli? [= To share and share alike: is maltreatment an experience shared by siblings?]
Bifulco, A., Ilan-Clarke, Y., Hannan, L. and Schimmenti, A. 2008. Condividere e condividere allo stesso modo.Il maltrattamento è un’esperienza condivisa dai fratelli? [= To share and share alike: is maltreatment an experience shared by siblings?]. Noos – Aggiornamenti in Psichiatria. 3, pp. 253-274.
Quando i genitori maltrattano i figli. Le radici psicopatologiche dello sviluppo affettivo (When the parents maltreat their young: the developmental roots of psychopathology)
Schimmenti, A. and Bifulco, A. 2008. Quando i genitori maltrattano i figli. Le radici psicopatologiche dello sviluppo affettivo (When the parents maltreat their young: the developmental roots of psychopathology). in: Caretti, V. and Creparo, G. (ed.) Trauma e psicopatologia. Un approccio evolutivo-relazionale Rome Astrolabi. pp. 94-131
Le esperienze di maltrattamento vissute dai fratelli: tra ambiente condiviso e non condiviso
Schimmenti, A. and Bifulco, A. 2010. Le esperienze di maltrattamento vissute dai fratelli: tra ambiente condiviso e non condiviso. in: Schimmenti, V. (ed.) Oltre la madre: relazioni familiari e sviluppo psicologico Milan, Italy Franco Angeli. pp. 114-129
Loss trauma
Bifulco, A. 2007. Loss trauma. in: Encyclopedia of Stress Academic Press. pp. 612-615
Il bambino maltrattato: le radici della depressione nel trauma e nell'abuso infantile
Bifulco, A. and Moran, P. 2007. Il bambino maltrattato: le radici della depressione nel trauma e nell'abuso infantile. Rome Astrolabio Ubaldini.
Familial patterns of stress
Bifulco, A. 2007. Familial patterns of stress. in: Fink, G. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Stress Academic Press. pp. 1-6
Wednesday's child: research into women's experience of neglect and abuse in childhood and adult depression
Bifulco, A. and Moran, P. 1998. Wednesday's child: research into women's experience of neglect and abuse in childhood and adult depression. London, U.K. Routledge.
Risk and resilience in young Londoners
Bifulco, A. 2009. Risk and resilience in young Londoners. in: Brom, D., Pat-Horenczyk, R. and Ford, J. (ed.) Treating traumatized children: risk, resilience and recovery Hove, U.K. Routledge. pp. 117-130
Depressed mothers and their children: attachment issues
Bifulco, A. 2010. Depressed mothers and their children: attachment issues. in: Kohen, D. (ed.) Oxford Textbook of Women and Mental Health Oxford, U.K. Oxford University Press (OUP). pp. 271-277
Predicting onset of depression: the vulnerability to depression questionnaire
Moran, P., Bifulco, A., Ball, C. and Campbell, C. 2001. Predicting onset of depression: the vulnerability to depression questionnaire. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. 40 (4), pp. 411-427. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466501163896
History of childhood abuse in Portuguese parents
Figuieredo, B., Bifulco, A., Paivia, C., Maia, A., Fernandes, E. and Matos, R. 2004. History of childhood abuse in Portuguese parents. Child Abuse and Neglect. 28 (6), pp. 669-682. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2003.11.021
Maternal attachment style and depression associated with childbirth ; preliminary results from a European and US cross-cultural study
Bifulco, A., Figueiredo, B., Guedeney, N., Gorman, L., Hayes, S., Muzik, M., Glatigny-Dallay, E., Valoriani, V., Kammerer, M. and Henshaw, C. 2004. Maternal attachment style and depression associated with childbirth ; preliminary results from a European and US cross-cultural study. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 184, pp. s31-s37.
Attachment style measurement: a clinical and epidemiological perspective
Bifulco, A. 2002. Attachment style measurement: a clinical and epidemiological perspective. Attachment & Human Development. 4 (2), pp. 180-188. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616730210157501
Lifetime stressors and recurrent depression: preliminary findings of the Adult Life Phase Interview (ALPHI)
Bifulco, A., Bernazzani, O., Moran, P. and Ball, C. 2000. Lifetime stressors and recurrent depression: preliminary findings of the Adult Life Phase Interview (ALPHI). Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 35 (6), pp. 264-275. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001270050238
Motherhood as a vulnerability factor in major depression: the role of negative pregnancy experiences
Bernazzani, O. and Bifulco, A. 2003. Motherhood as a vulnerability factor in major depression: the role of negative pregnancy experiences. Social Science & Medicine. 56 (6), pp. 1249-1260. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00123-5
Malaysian moslem mothers' experience of depression and service use
Abdul Kadir, N. and Bifulco, A. 2010. Malaysian moslem mothers' experience of depression and service use. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. 34 (3), pp. 443-467. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-010-9183-x
Exploring psychological abuse in childhood. I: developing a new interview scale
Moran, P., Bifulco, A., Ball, C., Jacobs, C. and Benaim, K. 2002. Exploring psychological abuse in childhood. I: developing a new interview scale. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. 66 (Summer), pp. 213-240.
Childhood experiences of care and abuse (CECA): validierung der Deutschen version des fragebogenund korrespondierenden Interview sowie Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung von Zusammenhangen belastenader Kindheitserlebnisse mit suizdalen Verhaltensweisen
Kaess, M., Parzer, P., Mattern, M., Resch, F., Bifulco, A. and Brunner, R. 2011. Childhood experiences of care and abuse (CECA): validierung der Deutschen version des fragebogenund korrespondierenden Interview sowie Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung von Zusammenhangen belastenader Kindheitserlebnisse mit suizdalen Verhaltensweisen. Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie. 39 (4), pp. 243-252. https://doi.org/10.1024/1422-4917/a000115
Investigating police practice in the UK: achieving best evidence in work with young victims of abuse
Davidson, J. and Bifulco, A. 2009. Investigating police practice in the UK: achieving best evidence in work with young victims of abuse. Pakistan Journal of Criminology. 1 (3), pp. 19-46.
Childhood experience and sexual offending: the use of the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) interview in forensic psychology research and practice
Bifulco, A. 2006. Childhood experience and sexual offending: the use of the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) interview in forensic psychology research and practice. in: Pham, T. (ed.) L'évaluation diagnostique des agresseurs sexuels Belgium Mardaga Pierre.
Early adversity and depression
Bifulco, A. 2009. Early adversity and depression. in: Ingram, R. (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Depression New York Springer Publishing Company.
Multi-agency working: Implications for an early-intervention social work team
Moran, P., Jacobs, C., Bunn, A. and Bifulco, A. 2007. Multi-agency working: Implications for an early-intervention social work team. Child & Family Social Work. 12 (2), pp. 143-151. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2006.00452.x
Teenage pregnancy, attachment style, and depression: a comparison of teenage and adult pregnant women in a Portuguese series
Figueiredo, B., Bifulco, A., Pacheco, A., Costa, R. and Magarinho, R. 2006. Teenage pregnancy, attachment style, and depression: a comparison of teenage and adult pregnant women in a Portuguese series. Attachment & Human Development. 8 (2), pp. 123-138. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616730600785686
Solutions on Stress (SOS): programmes, packages and products for helping teenagers
Bunn, A., Bifulco, A., Lorenc, A. and Robinson, N. 2007. Solutions on Stress (SOS): programmes, packages and products for helping teenagers. Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers. 8 (1), pp. 29-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/17473610710733758
Exploring psychological abuse in childhood: II. Association with other abuse and adult clinical depression
Bifulco, A., Moran, P., Baines, R., Bunn, A. and Stanford, K. 2002. Exploring psychological abuse in childhood: II. Association with other abuse and adult clinical depression. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. 66 (3), pp. 241-258.
The childhood experience of care and abuse questionnaire (CECA.Q): validation in a community series
Bifulco, A., Bernazzani, O., Moran, P. and Jacobs, C. 2005. The childhood experience of care and abuse questionnaire (CECA.Q): validation in a community series. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. 44 (4), pp. 563-581.
The Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire (VASQ): an interview-based measure of attachment styles that predict depressive disorder
Bifulco, A., Mahon, J., Kwon, J., Moran, P. and Jacobs, C. 2003. The Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire (VASQ): an interview-based measure of attachment styles that predict depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine. 33 (6), pp. 1099-1110. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291703008237
Problem partners and parenting: exploring linkages with maternal insecure attachment style and adolescent offspring internalizing disorder
Bifulco, A., Moran, P., Jacobs, C. and Bunn, A. 2009. Problem partners and parenting: exploring linkages with maternal insecure attachment style and adolescent offspring internalizing disorder. Attachment & Human Development. 11 (1), pp. 69-85. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616730802500826
Child victims of sexual abuse: children's experience of the investigative process in the criminal justice system
Davidson, J., Bifulco, A., Thomas, G. and Ramsay, M. 2006. Child victims of sexual abuse: children's experience of the investigative process in the criminal justice system. Practice: Social Work in Action. 18 (4), pp. 247-263. https://doi.org/10.1080/09503150601025253
Adult attachment style as mediator between childhood neglect/abuse and adult depression and anxiety
Bifulco, A., Kwon, J., Jacobs, C., Moran, P., Bunn, A. and Beer, N. 2006. Adult attachment style as mediator between childhood neglect/abuse and adult depression and anxiety. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 41 (10), pp. 796-805. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-006-0101-z
Childhood adversity, parental vulnerability and disorder: examining intergenerational transmission of risk
Bifulco, A., Moran, P., Ball, C., Jacobs, C., Baines, R., Bunn, A. and Cavagin, J. 2002. Childhood adversity, parental vulnerability and disorder: examining intergenerational transmission of risk. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 43 (8), pp. 1075-1086. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.00234
The Attachment Style Interview (ASI): a support-based adult assessment tool for adoption and fostering practice
Bifulco, A., Jacobs, C., Bunn, A., Thomas, G. and Irving, K. 2008. The Attachment Style Interview (ASI): a support-based adult assessment tool for adoption and fostering practice. Adoption and Fostering. 32 (3), pp. 33-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/030857590803200306
Adult Attachment Style. II: Its relationship to psychosocial depressive-vulnerability
Bifulco, A., Moran, P., Ball, C. and Lillie, A. 2002. Adult Attachment Style. II: Its relationship to psychosocial depressive-vulnerability. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 37 (2), pp. 60-67. https://doi.org/10.1007/s127-002-8216-x
Adult attachment style. I: Its relationship to clinical depression
Bifulco, A., Moran, P., Ball, C. and Bernazzani, O. 2002. Adult attachment style. I: Its relationship to clinical depression. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 37 (2), pp. 50-59. https://doi.org/10.1007/s127-002-8215-0
Assessing psychosocial risk in pregnant/postpartum women using the Contextual Assessment of Maternity Experience (CAME)
Bernazzani, O., Marks, M., Bifulco, A., Siddle, K., Asten, P. and Conroy, S. 2005. Assessing psychosocial risk in pregnant/postpartum women using the Contextual Assessment of Maternity Experience (CAME). Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 40 (6), pp. 497-508. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-005-0917-y
Problem partners and parenting: exploring linkages with maternal insecure attachment style and adolescent offspring internalizing disorder
Bifulco, A., Moran, P., Jacobs, C. and Bunn, A. 2009. Problem partners and parenting: exploring linkages with maternal insecure attachment style and adolescent offspring internalizing disorder. Attachment & Human Development. 11 (1), pp. 69-85. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616730802500826
Diurnal patterns of salivary cortisol across the adolescent period in healthy females
Oskis, A., Loveday, C., Hucklebridge, F., Thorn, L. and Clow, A. 2009. Diurnal patterns of salivary cortisol across the adolescent period in healthy females. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 34 (3), pp. 307-316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.09.009
Recovery from adolescent anorexia nervosa and associations with diurnal patterns of salivary stress hormones: a case report
Oskis, A., Loveday, C., Hucklebridge, F., Wood, D. and Clow, A. 2012. Recovery from adolescent anorexia nervosa and associations with diurnal patterns of salivary stress hormones: a case report. Case Reports in Psychiatry. 2012, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/798512
Concordance between mother and offspring retrospective reports of childhood adversity
Fisher, H., Bunn, A., Jacobs, C., Moran, P. and Bifulco, A. 2011. Concordance between mother and offspring retrospective reports of childhood adversity. Child Abuse and Neglect. 35 (2), pp. 117-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.10.003
Diurnal patterns of salivary cortisol and DHEA in adolescent anorexia nervosa
Oskis, A., Loveday, C., Hucklebridge, F., Thorn, L. and Clow, A. 2012. Diurnal patterns of salivary cortisol and DHEA in adolescent anorexia nervosa. Stress. 15 (6), pp. 601-607. https://doi.org/10.3109/10253890.2012.661493
Anxious attachment style and salivary cortisol dysregulation in healthy female children and adolescents
Oskis, A., Loveday, C., Hucklebridge, F., Thorn, L. and Clow, A. 2010. Anxious attachment style and salivary cortisol dysregulation in healthy female children and adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 52 (2), pp. 111-118. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02296.x
The longitudinal psychometric properties of the EAS temperament survey in adolescence
Spence, R., Owens, M. and Goodyer, I. 2013. The longitudinal psychometric properties of the EAS temperament survey in adolescence. Journal of Personality Assessment. 95 (6), pp. 633-639. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2013.819513
Clinical and economic outcomes from the UK pilot psychiatric services for personality-disordered offenders
Fortune, Z., Barrett, B., Armstrong, D., Coid, J., Crawford, M., Mudd, D., Rose, D., Slade, M., Spence, R., Tyrer, P. and Moran, P. 2011. Clinical and economic outcomes from the UK pilot psychiatric services for personality-disordered offenders. International Review of Psychiatry. 23 (1), pp. 61-69. https://doi.org/10.3109/09540261.2010.545989
An evaluation of new services for personality-disordered offenders: staff and service user perspectives
Fortune, Z., Rose, D., Crawford, M., Slade, M., Spence, R., Mudd, D., Barrett, B., Coid, J., Tyrer, P. and Moran, P. 2010. An evaluation of new services for personality-disordered offenders: staff and service user perspectives. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 56 (2), pp. 186-195. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764009105281